ANC has 'betrayed promise of freedom': Ramphele
The ANC needs to repent for continuing to vote in people who steal from the poor - but so must the electorate.
This is what anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele told The Times outside the Holy Redeemer Anglican Church in Sea Point yesterday. She had delivered a keynote address at the church's 96th anniversary celebration.
Ramphele said the ANC "has failed to lead" and has "betrayed the promise of freedom".
The congregation converged from all over the Cape Flats, to where their families were forced to move from Sea Point by the apartheid government in 1959.
Ramphele called on citizens to take responsibility for the political crisis in this country, and for corruption and violence against women and children.
"It starts with us, we the citizens are the stewards of this democracy. Whatever goes right and wrong we must take responsibility for it," Ramphele said.
She said the ethics that govern people's lives would ultimately decide which leadership the people chose.
"The tragedy of this church is that here we are [at] a church that was shut down because of the inequities in this country and here we are 23 years after that and we still haven't had restoration of what was broken, what was taken away from people," she said.
Gwen Eyssen, 85, was baptised, confirmed, married, and had her children baptised in the church.
"It was a lovely time. We thank God that we can still come around [to the church] and say 'Hello'," Eyssen said.
Ramphele responded: "Those are the wounds that have not been healed, Mama. People have been left bleeding, in pain, humiliated, and here you are watching the rich getting richer and they have taken away from the poor and that's the sin of this country."
Asked what her message was for the ANC delegates who are going to choose a new president for the party at its elective conference next month, she said people were too "pre-occupied" with the ANC.
"It's very important for us as South Africans to stop this pre-occupation with the ANC. The ANC is just a party. They made a contribution to the liberation process but every South African was marching in the streets, on factory floors, in the churches
- they too contributed," she said.
"Why are we pre-occupied with what the ANC does or doesn't do? They have failed to lead. They have betrayed the promise of freedom and they need to repent like we need to repent for continuing to vote in people who are stealing from poor people," she said.